Category Archives: Uncategorized

New Board 2014-2018

Following the call for candidates and afterwards the mail-ballot among our members, there it is the RC51 Board 2014-2018:

  • President: Chaime Marcuello‐Servós, Universidad de Zaragoza (Spain)
  • Vice‐President: José A. Amozurrutia, National University Autonomous of México (México)
  • Secretary: Patricia E. Almaguer Kalixto, Centro de Estudios y Agricultura Internacional (CERAI) / Universidad de Zaragoza (Spain)
  • Treasurer: Saburo Akahori, Tokyo Woman’s Christian University (Japan)
  • Newsletter Editor: Juan Carlos Barrón Pastor, Center for Research on North America (CISAN) / National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM)
  • Journal Editor: Fabio Giglietto, University of Urbino “Carlo Bo”, Italy

We had 27 votes out of which 23 are valid ‐ members in good standing (i.e. being a registered member and having paid fees – so for those who forgot, please do renew your membership :-D). All candidates have received the same number of votes.

We also take the chance to thanks all the members of the previous board with special thank you to our past president Eva Buchinger.

Abstracts Booklet for 12th Conference of Sociocybernetics

We just uploaded the traditional abstract booklet for papers presented during the 12th Conference of Sociocybernetics.

Publication of selected contributions is planned as an outcome of the Conference. Two journals have offered to accept papers: the Journal of Applied Research and Technology (JART), which will publish a special issue devoted to conference papers and the RC51 official journal, Journal of Sociocybernetics (JoS) where papers with a more conceptual and theoretical contributions related to our field of study are appreciated.

In the meanwhile please don’t forget that the abstract submission for Yokohama is already open (deadline 30th September).

15 Years After – In Memoriam Niklas Luhmann

NIKLAS LUHMANN 1927-1998

Bernd R. Hornung

Originally published in the ISA Bulletin no. 78-79, 1999, pp. 24-26

Introduction

The death of Niklas Luhmann on November 6, 1998 was a great loss. He was a most important contemporary intellectual leader and representative of systems science in sociology. Indeed, his influence extended far beyond sociology.

We owe a great debt to Niklas Luhmann for numerous important findings, breakthroughs, and intellectual challenges. Again and again he opened surprising views and new perspectives to sociology, systems science, and numerous other disciplines. He was one of the very few contemporary sociologists who indeed changed paradigms: from structural-functionalism to functional-structural and problem-functionalist theory, from the society of action to the society of communication and semantics, from the social “machine” to autopoiesis. Some of these changes may seem only to be playing with words, and yet this shifting of terms changed worlds.

He was a sharp observer of minute differences. No wonder he embraced the theory of the organization of the living of Maturana and Varela, in which the concept of the observer plays a key role. Combined with his precise and complex reasoning trained in legal science he further developed this theory and transferred it to sociology, where it became soon a cornerstone of his own monumental construction of theory.

Theory was his passion. But beyond being a great theorist, he was a great person. He had a lot of patience, towards his topics of study as well as towards his students and friends. Many friends and colleagues appreciated and enjoyed his sense of humor and his contagious smile. Scientific dispute and conflict he could keep separate from personal relations, as demonstrated brilliantly in the controversy with Habermas.

A considerable part of his life work consists in applying his abstract, complex frame of theoretical reference to virtually all areas of society, from the internal workings of administration to global ecological problems, from politics and economy to arts, love, and religion. Aiming at a universal theory of society no sector of society was left out in his attempt to apply, test, and further develop his theory. He used his incredible encyclopedic knowledge, accumulated from the tremendous amount of reading he did.

Luhmann spent most of his life in the plains of Northern Germany, not on the coast, but at Lüneburg, Hannover, Münster, and Bielefeld, where the sea is beyond the horizon, sending the winds to sweep up the skies, blue and grey. Horizons, after all, become one of the key concepts in his theory. It seems they were a key concept in his life too, as again and again he moved towards new challenges.

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Walter Buckley Award 2012

Since 2006 conference in Durban we use to confer the Walter Buckley Memorial Award to best presenter/presentation of the year.

It’s therefore a great pleasure and a privilege to announce that the winner of the 2012 Walter Buckley Memorial Award was Ilknur Oner who presented the paper titled “Complexity of recent disaster and migration patterns: Examples of Thoku – Japan”.

Congratulations!

Furthermore, during the business meeting of Faro conference it was also announced that since several members of RC51 will also be present in Buenos Aires a special extra edition of the award will be given this year to the best presentation and presenter of RC51 sessions at ISA Forum.

P.S. We also updated the award webpage with the name of all the winners since 2006!

50 abstracts for RC51 sessions at ISA Forum

Our local session organizer Hèctor Zamorano just announced in a comment to this post that the local organizing committee received 50 abstracts for the 7 sessions organized by RC51 at the second ISA Forum of Sociology to be held next year in Buenos Aires. The review process is in progress and the authors of accepted papers will be soon notified.